Category Archives: LGBT

One Million Moms: “The Real O’Neals” Makes Jesus Cry

Even this picture has certain Christians in a tizzy. Can you guess why?
Even this picture has certain Christians in a tizzy. Can you guess why?

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but everyone’s favorite blue noses are at it again. Yes, it’s the One Million Moms and, now they have a new target for their ire: ABC’s latest sitcom, “The Real O’Neals”. And, why do they have their knickers in a twist over this show? Their website says it “ridicules Jesus and Christianity”. Maybe, but I have a feeling that the real problem is the fact that one of the characters is gay.

That character would be Kenny O’Neal, a 16-year-old who comes out to his Irish-Catholic family in the first episode. That, along with the fact that Kenny is played by Noah Galvin, who is openly gay, and that Dan Savage is on board as a producer (the show is also loosely based on his life) makes the show, in the words of D’Anne Witkowski, “a gay trifecta” and possibly “a sign of End Times”. If I hadn’t already watched it, that description alone would be enough for it to land on my list.

It’s not just the “gay” thing, though; there are a few other items that have also gotten under the Moms’ skin. Things like Jesus jokes (seen here, beginning at 0:03), the daughter’s “attempts to prove” (their quotes, not mine) that there is no God as a science fair project, and Eileen (Kenny’s mom) making Jesus-shaped pancakes to guilt trip the anorexic older brother into eating. I think their problem with that last one is less about offending Jesus and more about giving away trade secrets.

Of course, the Moms aren’t the only ones with their drawers in a knot. Google “The Real O’Neals Christian” and you’ll find a plethora of pissed off Christians, all incensed over the show’s take on “The One True Faith”. Do the same search on YouTube and you’ll find several videos lambasting ABC and the show for the same basic reason. The best is one titled, “The Real O’Neals TV Show on ABC Mocks Mocks God! (Satanic TeLIEvision EXPOSED)”. Why is it the best? Did you not see the words “Satanic TeLIEvision EXPOSED” in the title?!? Oh, it also ties the show to “an End Times deception”: “acceptance of homosexuality”. That’s right, boys and girls, accepting “homosexuality” (aka treating people who are LGBTQ like fellow human beings) is a sign that Jesus is coming back any day now! Wow, just…, wow.

Of course, all these other dissenters are mostly copying and pasting the information on OMM’s website (or, just reading it out loud on the videos). I guess they’re so upset about gays and Jesus jokes appearing in the same show that coming up with some original content is beyond their capability. I cannot imagine how tiring maintaining this level of outrage must be. Geez, relax people.

If ever a group needed to “Netflix and chill”, it’s this bunch. A nice bottle of wine, a blunt the size of my thumb and some quality television (by “quality television”, I mean, “vigorous boot-knocking”) would be the perfect way for these oh so tightly wound wowsers to de-stress a little. If they tried it, they might find that shows like “The Real O’Neals” aren’t all that bad. I’m not holding my breath until it happens, though.

Don’t Do It, Charlotte? Too Late, They Done Did It

satire def
^^^Because some people are irony-impaired.^^^

So, the Charlotte city council recently voted to allow transgenders to use whatever bathroom they damn well please. Well, beloved, if you need a sign of the moral degeneration currently taking place in the United States, here it is. I mean, we’re seriously going to let men use women’s bathrooms just because they claim to “feel like a woman”? If it’s not immediately struck down, we’re headed for a disaster of biblical proportions! Complete with human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together and mass hysteria.

You may think that response is a little over the top, but you’d be oh so wrong. You see, in the two days since Charlotte passed this abomination, some of North Carolina’s most God-fearing leaders have begun shouting from the mountain tops to alert the citizens that the dreaded “gay agenda” is attempting to take over our fair state.

As I told you a couple of weeks ago, Franklin Graham spoke up about the menace to our children represented in this legal anathema. And, right before the vote, Governor Pat McCrory emailed the two conservative stalwarts on the council to inform them that passage would “most likely cause immediate state legislative intervention.” Yesterday, Speaker of the NC House Tim Moore released a statement that legislators are planning a bill to block not only Charlotte’s ordinance, but also in any other similar laws passed in the state. Thank you, God, for men such as these.

Make no mistake, brothers and sisters, this is the moral crisis of our generation and we need to stand strong. Oh sure, several NC communities are all over lists of the hungriest cities in the nation and, a list of municipalities where poverty is growing the fastest includes the four largest cities in the state, but who cares about a bunch of deadbeats now that the government has decided to take up for the gays? Even worse, they want to protect a bunch of she-males? There’s a word for those people and we all know what it is (it starts with “pr” and ends with “edator”).

Is there any basis for the fear that child molesters will use this “bathroom bill” as a way to find little girls for their nefarious purposes? Of course not. Are there, in fact, multiple places where such ordinances have been on the books for several years and haven’t resulted in an increase in sexual assault or rape? Absolutely (see above link). Stop clouding the issue with facts, damn it!

Look, I know that persecuting gays and trannies seems to fly in the face of Christianity since Christians suffered awful persecution in the days of the early church and we follow a man who taught to us love and accept everyone, not just people who look like us. And, a Republican-controlled legislature passing laws to subvert a city council’s decision seems utterly absurd, as they constantly remind us that the GOP is the party of small government. But, seriously, none of that matters. Things are changing and, as a straight, white, cisgender (and by “cisgender”, I mean “normal”) man, I am terrified that gays and the transgenders might  treat me as bad as I’ve treated them. I’m not sure I could stand that.

Linda Harvey Can’t Find Anywhere To Shop

It's hard out here for a homophobic jerk.
It’s hard out here for a homophobic jerk.

You may not know this, but being a homophobic asshole is not without its pitfalls. Don’t think so? Just ask anti-LGBT activist Linda Harvey. PinkNews reports that Ms. Harvey is having a hard time finding places to shop because almost no major businesses oppose LGBTQ equality anymore. Or, in Linda’s words:

“For any Christian who wants to spend hard-earned dollars with family-friendly, Christian-affirming retailers, restaurants and service providers, the list is growing shorter all the time.”

Oh no, businesses have figured out it’s more profitable to treat everyone like a human being, making it hard for you to find like-minded bigots to patronize? How awful.

Right about now , you’re probably wondering just who the hell this Linda Harvey person might be (I know I was). Being the helpful, caring soul that I am, I put on my detective hat and started digging that info up for you. Granted, that entailed typing her name into Wikipedia and spending a couple of minutes reading. But, still…

It turns out that Harvey is the president and founder of something called Mission:America, a ministry which she established “to equip Christians with current, accurate information about cultural issues such as feminism, homosexuality, education and New Age influences. ” While there are other issues Mission:America speaks about (paganism and Islam, for example) , their raison d’etre is that dreaded Christian bugaboo: the “Gays” (dun, DUN,  DUNNN!!!).

Oh sure, there are articles on those other topics, but they are vastly outnumbered by the anti-LGBTQ crap. In an introductory post about Mission:America, Harvey writes, “We focus a lot here on homosexuality because of its rising visibility yet controversial place in current America life.” Which, if you ask me, is a little funny for ministry dedicated to Christian teachings. I mean, Jesus (you know, that guy we claim to follow?) never said a word about being gay. He did, however, say a lot about loving your neighbor, feeding hungry people and not hoarding (aka, caring for the poor), things I suspect Harvey considers commie propaganda.

So, now that we’re up to speed on this fine, Christian woman, let’s get back to the story at hand. This fight with retailers isn’t a new one for Harvey; by her own words, it’s been going on for several years. In the PinkNews article, she says,  “I stopped shopping at Macy’s in 2011 after learning about the retailer’s grossly unjust policy against women.” And, just what policy is so “grossly unjust”? Well, beloved, it seems that Macy’s allows people who are transgender to use the dressing room that best fits their gender identity, even going so far as to fire an employee for stopping a trans woman attempting to do that very thing. Oh, the horror!

It’s not just Macy’s, though.  Target, Harvey claims, has sold “gay pride” t-shirts in the past and “Amazon, General Mills, Google, Facebook, Paypal, Levi-Strauss and others” are joining them in “‘proudly standing’ with homosexuals and cross-dressers who want to change America’s 1964 Civil Rights Act to add ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity”, something she refers to as “anti-American, pro-deviance legislation” Yes, there’s nothing quite so “anti-American” as the notion that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated that way.

But, it doesn’t end with those companies. Harvey thinks Christians should avoid doing business with (deep breath annnd, go!): Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, CVS, Dell, DIRECTV, E-Bay, Ford Motor Co., The Gap, General Motors, Hallmark, Home Depot, IKEA, JC Penney, Levi-Strauss & Co., Macy’s, Mattel, Nationwide, Nike, Nissan, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Staples, Starbuck’s, Target, TJX Companies ( owns TJ Maxx and Marshall’s), Volkswagen and Walgreen’s. Wow, she’s not kidding; there really isn’t a place for anti-LGBT shitheads to shop these days.

Now, if I were in Harvey’s shoes, I’d take the tidal wave of acceptance of people who are LGBTQ as cue to rethink my ideas on the matter. But, then, I’m not a hard-core culture warrior, locked in battle with Satan for the soul of our country and don’t equate “compromise” with “capitulation”. Does that mean I don’t have the courage of my convictions? Maybe. But, I also don’t have problems buying a new underwear when I need it. Which pretty much makes up for any angst I might be feeling on the matter.

Ted Cruz And The Religious Right: A Match Made In Heaven(?)

Ted Cruz Declares Holy War

To say that this Republican primary season has been a 3-ring circus is like saying George W. Bush wasn’t a very good president: true, but an understatement of mind-boggling proportions. Most of that circus atmosphere is a result of one candidate: human hair ball Donald Trump.

As if the mere fact that this online-comments-section-come-to-life is dominating an actual political party’s primaries wasn’t bad enough, things on got even worse when self-professed “Mama Grizzly” Sarah Palin endorsed Trump in a speech that was breath-taking in its abuse of reason, the English language and pretty much anything else that comes to mind.

Of course, the media and the hosts of certain late-night TV shows are ecstatic at this developement. Many of us, however, recoil in disgust at whatever incendiary statement crosses the Donald’s lips (and generally scratch our heads at whatever spills out of Palin in her bizarre stream-of-consciousness romps). Progressives, in particular, lose their minds when Trump’s latest repellant pronouncement comes across their social media feeds (because let’s face it, no good progressive actually watches television anymore).

There’s a problem with all that outrage: it’s misdirected. Consulting the Google provides ample evidence that Trump is nothing more than an opportunistic attention whore (maybe that’s why Palin decided to endorse him; birds of a feather, and all). If hell were to freeze over and the man was actually elected president, the chances that he would enact any of the asinine policies he’s put forth aren’t all that great. Whatever else Trump might be, he’s a businessman at his core and doing any of that shit wouldn’t be good for business. So, if Trump isn’t the conservative boogie-man we’ve made him out to be, who is? That’s easy: Ted Cruz.

Yes, Ted Cruz. Aka, the man who, back in December, successfully won the support of James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and one of the nation’s most influential evangelicals. That endorsement came on the heels of others from  the Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats, the National Organization for Marriage, and GOP activist/direct-mail pioneer Richard Viguerie.  In other words, the Religious Right has anointed Cruz as their man. But, why?

Now, I could list the Tea Party darling’s socially conservative bona fides, like his hatred of Planned Parenthood or never meeting an anti-LGBTQ pastor/activist he didn’t like, but that’s been done so many times, it’s not funny anymore. Besides, there are other candidates who have championed these issues far longer than Cruz without getting a fraction of the attention this gynotician has amassed in his 4 years on the national stage.

Take Rick Santorum, for instance. Santorum holds views that are just as reactionary/batshit crazy as anything Tailgunner Ted has said and he can’t get arrested on the campaign trail. That probably has something to do with the fact that he’s Catholic, but still. And, then, there’s Mike Huckabee. Hell, Huckabee was a preacher and had a show on Fox News. You’d think that would make him a sure thing for the religious right’s support. But, nope. Both Santorum and the Huckster dropped out after dismal showings in Iowa.

So, what is Cruz’s secret? What is the magic recipe this “dirty syrup guzzler” has cooked up to woo social conservatives in a way that no one has done since George W. Bush captured their hearts 16 years ago? I belive it’s not what he’s saying, it’s the way he’s saying it.

In the lead up to the Iowa Caucuses, Cruz urged his supporters to  “Strap on the full armor of God” and claimed his campaign has sparked “a spirit of revival” leading “the body of Christ rise up to pull us back from the abyss.” If you want to woo evangelicals, you  can’t do better than draping your message in Jesus and the Bible, no matter how antithetical to either of those it might be.

Cruz’s uncompromising support of socially conservative positions (which, along with a repellent personality, has earned him the title of “most hated man in the Senate”) and his sermonizing political speeches combine to make him the religious right’s (wet) dream candidate. Whether that turns out to be a blessing or curse for the Texas Tosser remains to be seen. Me? I’m hoping for “curse”.

Christians for Trump 2016!


Christians for TrumpI don’t know about anyone else, but I have been so underwhelmed by the choices in the upcoming presidential election. Until recently, I floundered around, looking for the true, evangelical Christian candidate, all to no avail. Ben Carson was looking good for a while, but then I realized he’s a Seventh-Day Adventist, and I just can’t hang with a such weird, semi-magical faith. Jeb Bush is a Catholic and, as we all know, the Pope is the Anti-Christ. So, he’s out. I had all but settled on Ted Cruz as the one, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I thought all was lost until, just a few days ago, the clouds parted, the trumpets sounded and the answer I was looking for was revealed.

You see, that’s when Jerry Falwell, Jr, president of Liberty University and son of Rev. Jerry Falwell, endorsed Donald J. Trump for President of the United States, calling Trump “a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.” Yes! Coming on the heels of Sister Sarah Palin’s declaration of support , it is clear that God wants Donald Trump to lead this country back to greatness.

We’ve had hints that Brother JJ might come out for the Donald. Since Trump, aka “the last great hope for this hell hole of a country”, stepped onto the pages of history by declaring his intent to run for president, Falwell has put some time into building a rapport with the man. In recent weeks, he has compared Trump to Falwell, Sr and stated, “In my opinion, Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the Great Commandment.”

And, the country is ready for this, beloved. As this sign at an Alabama rally for Trump back in August shows:


Of course, some wag is going to point to the Donald’s less-than-stellar knowledgee of the Bible or the fact that he can’t remember ever asking God’s forgiveness, questioning his evangelical bonfides. But, honestly, none of that really matters. What does matter? That Trump is the only person who can save us from the dreadful mismanagement that has characterized the Obama administration. I mean, seriously, how much more employment, peace and economic prosperity can this country take?

Mr. Trump is also the strong man we need to lead us against the forces that threaten to destroy the very fabric of our nation. Who else but Trump can go toe-to-toe with ISIS, Vladimir Putin and China? Sure, he backed out of the debate last night rather than face Megyn Kelly. But, after the way she went after him last time, who could blame him? Intelligent women who won’t put up with your crap are scary.

Does it matter that he’s greedy, privileged, willing to use all the resources at his disposal to stroke his own ego while others suffer (often on account of what he’s said), and cares nothing for the consequences of his words and actions so long as they don’t affect him personally? Of course not! All good Christians should aspire to be like Mr. Trump; rich as Croesus and unashamedly politically incorrect. Because, really, isn’t that what the Gospel is all about?

Who’s It Hurting?

Larry the Cable Guy
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve had about all I can stand of Dan Whitney’s faux southern redneck pose.

On Dan Whitney, Political Correctness and Trans Issues

For reasons unbeknownst to me now, there was a time when I found Dan Whitney’s faux southern redneck pose (aka Larry The Cable Guy) funny. I shouldn’t have; even if you leave out all the racist, sexist, anti-LGBTQ crap he spews, it’s still offensive to southerners because it paints us as semi-literate bumpkins who glory in their ignorance. And, isn’t that a lovely stereotype?

Whitney defends his schtick by saying it gets laughs. Once, to illustrate this point, he told one of his jokes as Dan Whitney, sans accent and ignorance and it fell flat. Then, he told it again as “Larry” and the audience ate it up. Basically, he’s taking the easy way out. Instead of writing better material, he chooses to pander to his audience’s baser instincts. When you have the kind of voice Whitney does, using it this way is deplorable.

What Whitney is doing is playing on working class white folks’ fear of change, and railing against “political correctness” is one of the best ways of doing so. Political correctness, of course, is the term certain people like to use when they demonize others for, basically, not being a dick. And, by “not being a dick”, I mean “not using language that offends others”. It never ceases to amaze me that some folks think this is a bad thing.

Unfortunately, being “politically incorrect” isn’t just a part of his “Larry, the Cable Guy” persona; it’s a part of being Dan Whitney. Last month, on his Sirius XM “Weekly Roundup” program, he went off on a political rant which included his disgust with people who are transgender, saying “Look, if you have a penis, you’re a boy. If you have a vagina, you’re a girl, That’s how it is.” Seriously? The fact that this guy gets standing ovations when he performs just makes me sad.

Now, I could list all sorts of valid research to counter Whitney’s claim; god knows there’s plenty of it out there. But, most likely, I would be wasting my breath because a lot of the people who agree with this sort of thing aren’t swayed by research or science, or pretty much anything else. So, instead, I’ll ask this question: Who’s it hurting?

The answer, of course, is no one. What is does is upset the straight, cisgender apple cart and some people have a problem with that. And, if I’m being honest, I can relate. As a straight, cisgender man, I have no problems whatsoever with people who are gay or bisexual and trans men and women don’t bother me in the least. But, effeminate men are a different story. Especially one who’s genderqueer and intentionally blurs the line between male and female. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but lipstick and a five o’clock shadow freak me the hell out.

But, but freaked out as I may be, I still don’t tell these guys to “BE A DAMN MAN!!!” I think it, sometimes, but I never say it. Why? Because I’ve seen what happens to someone when they’re not allowed to be the person they truly are and, believe me, it is deadly. So, if you’re one of those folks who agree with Whitney on this, I want you to remember what I just said the next time you want to spew some bullshit about your genitalia defining who you are. What they’re doing isn’t hurting you in the least, but what you’re doing? It’s killing them.

One Million Moms Is At It Again

SAM_s1_G+_CoverAt the risk of sounding like a broken record, One Million Moms is at it again. And, by “at it again”, I mean they’re upset about another TV show they haven’t seen. This time, it’s Samantha Bee’s upcoming series, Full Frontal. This time, however, there’s a new wrinkle: they’re wound up over the title of the show. Yes, beloved, you read that right: the title.

Last week, the Moms posted a new petition blasting Bee’s new show because, and I quote, “The title of this show alone is unacceptable. Even though airing later in the evening since it is a late night show, the name will appear in the TV lineup of programs scheduled and previews will air earlier during the day.” Really? I hate to break to these blue noses, but your kids hear a hell of a lot worse things than “full frontal” at school. Maybe even at home.

What, exactly, is so wrong with the term, “full frontal”? I suppose the problem comes from its origins: it was first used to describe depictions of nudity. As the Oxford Dictionary puts it, “with full exposure of the front of the body.” But, the phrase has picked up another meaning along the way: nothing concealed or held back, direct, hard-hitting, etc. Hell, even the Urban Dictionary, a publication that never misses a chance to be magnificently crude, defines “full-frontal” as “thoroughly, completely and totally (from full frontal nudity).” Of course, another definition says, “when a celebrity shows more than just their bum in a film (ie: their penis or bush). This is usually for artistic reasons but clearly some serial full frontalists just like taking their kit off for the camera!” But, still…

Of course, OMM has other issues with the show, including things like “vile content and language” and…, well, that’s about it. They don’t really mention anything else because they can’t; there’s not much out there because Bee and her husband, Jason Jones, only started working on scripts back in May. Do you know what that means? The Moms are pissed about episodes that haven’t even been written yet. Holy shit.

In previous posts about the Moms and their desire to control everyone else’s viewing habits crusade against indecency in pop cultureI’ve said that before they ask, nay, demand, that a network pull a show from its line-up, they might want to actually watch it. Getting worked up over something that’s still being written is a bit over the top even for a group like OMM. Which makes me wonder if there’s another problem with “Full Frontal”. Like maybe Bee, herself.

What’s so bad about Samantha Bee, you ask? Well, for one, she’s a Daily Show alumnus and you know how conservatives feel about that (hint, they don’t like it). But, the real problem may be found in an  article from the Advocate: Bee is “a longtime LGBT ally who specializes in finding the funny in feminism.” An ally and a feminist? Now, things make a little more sense.

To be fair, however, the teasers for Bee’s show do lend a certain credence to the Moms concern about content and language. Like this clip:

And, like most comedians these days, Bee does have a well-deserved reputation for pushing the envelope. But, so does Larry the Cable Guy and I don’t see any petitions about keeping him off the air. I wonder why that might be?

Conservatives love to talk about “personal responsiblity”, but only when it suits them. When it comes to things they don’t like,  they have no problem making decisions for the rest of us. They need to remember that every television is equipped with both a channel selector and an on/off switch. And, that no one is forcing anybody to watch this stuff. In other words, the Moms need to worry about their house and let me worry about mine. I mean, this is America, after all.

The National Religious Liberties(?) Conference

So, a virulently anti-gay pastor threw a party last weekend and guess who showed up?
So, a virulently anti-gay pastor threw a party last weekend and guess who showed up?

These days, it seems like bat shit crazy is everywhere you look. Between Ben Carson’s notion that Joseph (you know, from the Bible?) built the pyramids to serve as grain silos, people getting their shorts in a knot over a god damn paper cup and the mere fact that human hair ball Donald Trump is a credible candidate for the Presidency of the United States, you can go all day without encountering a whole lot of sanity. And, while none of these things are good, they aren’t nearly as bad as some of the shit that’s gotten lost in the shuffle. Like the National Religious Liberties Conference.

Now, this wasn’t your average,run of the mill we’re-pissed-because-you-won’t-let-us-shit-on-gays-anymore “religious liberty” conference. Oh no, beloved, it was so much more. Organizer/preacher/radio show host Kevin Swanson used his platform to warn us about some of the terrible dangers facing America today: Harry Potter, “How To Train Your Dragon” and “Frozen”, among others. Seriously, I’m not making this up.

According to Swanson, there are characters in these movies that can cause little ones to “stumble”, because said characters are gay and, as everyone knows, indoctrination is priority number one for the LGBT community. The good Reverend Swanson refers to Dumbledore and one of the characters in “How To Train Your Dragon” (not sure which) as “homosexual mentor(s)” and Elsa from “Frozen” is a lesbian-recruiting bride of Satan (I’m not sure if Swanson himself spoke on Elsa, but she and the song “Let It Go” were a focal point of the conference).

Oh, you know how I ended the list with “among others”? A couple of those “other” things are vampires cannibalism and witchcraft. Yes, you that correctly: “vampires, cannibalism and witchcraft”. Let that sink in for a minute: these three topics were seriously mentioned at gathering of grown ups as actual threats to America. Holy…fucking…shit. I will admit, however, that the last one was kind of a welcome addition. I mean, how are you going to complain about Harry Potter and not mention “witchcraft”?

Up to now, this has all been fun and games. But, all too soon, things took a very ugly turn. In the closing speech of the conference, Swanson said the Bible states that “homosexuals are worthy of death”. Originally, I had planned to use some video from Right Wing Watch which showed Swanson saying those very words, but someone filed a copyright violation claim on that video and YouTube has suspended their account. Never fear, brothers and sisters, through remorseless and diligent research (i. e. clicking the link RWW provided), your intrepid reporter has found that footage on The Rachel Maddow Show. If you’re only interested in Swanson, skip ahead to the 6:00 mark:

Okay, I know it sounds like he’s calling for LGBT folks to be rounded up and executed, but he’s not…, yet. You see, while Swanson may be a virulently anti-gay bigot, he’s not an unfeeling one, because he goes on to say he doesn’t think “gays” should be put to death until they’ve had time to repent. See, he’s really not a virulently anti-gay bigot, he’s a caring and concerned anti-gay bigot.  Isn’t that nice?

Earlier I said I wasn’t making this up and I wish I was. I really, really wish I was. In fact, you have no idea how much I wish I was fabricating the whole sorry mess out of thin air. Or, maybe you do. Maybe a preacher, a self-professed man of God, spouting bullshit to scare the hell out of his followers, and have a few political dumb asses kiss his ring, makes you as sad as it does me. Not trying to wish anything bad on you, but I kind of hope it does.

Purity Culture

God’s Will or Oddly Repulsive?

One of the weirder and, let’s face it, creepier aspects of conservative Christianity is its obsession with sex. And, nowhere is that more apparent than something known as “purity culture”. Now, some of you may be wondering “What the hell is ‘purity culture’?” Well, according to No Shame Movement, it is “simply the view of any discussion of things of a sexual nature outside of the context of heterosexual marriage as taboo.” Technically, that is correct; but, friends, that clinical definition doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the skin-crawling aberration that is purity culture.

Now, you may be wondering why I’m writing about this movement, thinking it’s strictly a fundamentalist/evangelical thing and doesn’t really affect the rest of us. If you think this, let me assure that you are wrong. In fact, you are so wrong that your wrongness surpasses any conceivable descriptor for being wrong. Your wrongness is so wrong that it makes Ben Carson’s all-too-frequent use of slavery and/or the Nazis as metaphors actually look right. Okay, that last one may be a little over the top, but still. Look, my point is that purity culture affects us all. How so, you ask? Like this:

That is a mother at a recent Omaha Public Schools parent meeting about proposed changes to the system’s sex education curriculum, including lessons on sexual orientation, sexual identity, contraception, and sexual trafficking. These alterations prompted the outburst from woman (now known across the internet as “puritymom”) in the video. In case you can’t make it out, what she’s saying is, “It’s my daughter! My daughter! Who’s going to keep her pure? Nobody! I am! Not OPS! Not OPS!” So, purity equals ignorance? I did not know that.

But, friends, parents raising hell because their ignorance is being challenged is just the tip of the disgusting iceberg. Take purity balls, for example. If you’re unfamiliar with this phenomenon, the purity ball is a religious ceremony/ formal dance event where dads and daughters dress up in evening attire for a night of dining and dancing, culminating with the daughters pledging to the fathers to abstain from sex until marriage. Photographer David Magnusson put together a book documenting this creepfest. Here’s a sample of his work:

From the book Purity by David Magnusson published by Bokförlaget Max Ström 2014. Copyright © David Magnusson 2011. Rules for use in copyright notice.
From the book Purity by David Magnusson published by Bokförlaget Max Ström 2014. Copyright © David Magnusson 2011. Rules for use in copyright notice.

I got this from an article on Huffington Post, but click that link with the understanding that you may feel the need to shower afterwards; it’s that bad. From what I can see, Magnusson’s book looks like a collection of prom photos from the Warren Jeffs School of Parenting. In a word, “Ewww”.

If that’s not enough for you, I ran across another story about this abnormality that raises the “ick” factor even more. In Christian Today (a UK-based media company not to be confused with Christianity Today), Carey Lodge reports that “Twenty-something Brelyn Freeman, now Bowman, presented her pastor father with a certificate confirming her virginity.” But wait. it gets better (and by “better”, I mean “oh, so much worse”): the certificate was signed by a doctor who, it seems, had actually examined Ms. Bowman to verify that her hymen was intact. Okay, then. When my daughter got married last year, if she had presented me with a document attesting to her virginity, I can honestly say it would’ve creeped me the fuck out. But, this dude? He posted a picture on Instagram of himself and his daughter holding the certificate, grinning like a possum eating briars. What the hell is wrong with these people?!?

I wish I knew the answer to that question. Maybe then I could begin to wrap my head around why seemingly intelligent adults think that keeping kids in the dark about sex will somehow magically prevent them from getting pregnant (because everyone knows teenagers don’t have an innate desire to knock boots every chance they get), that signing a pledge has a prayer of stemming up to the flood of hormones that comes with puberty and that a woman’s worth is irretrievably tied to her virginity. This whole thing is just fucked up.


Pat Robertson: Wordsmith

0_21_robertson_patAfter a month or so of going at Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham pretty hard, I decided to take a break from writing about their shenanigans. That hiatus was still in force this morning when I was going through my emails and found a Google alert about the host of The 700 Club that linked to a Right Wing Watch article with this title:
Robertson: ‘Homosexuals … Want To Come Out And Stick It To The Christians’
But, wait; it gets better! Robertson also used the phrase “organized thrust” just a few words later.  I think you can see how irresistible this was.

Robertson’s complaint came in connection with a story that ran on CBN’s website that “reported” on the awful persecution American Christians are suffering these days. According to Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Matt Bowman, asking people like Kim Davis to do their damn job is part of an attempt by progressives to push our agenda. How? By “redefining jobs”, of course.

According to Pat, expecting people to do what’s in their job description is “tyranny” because “Believers should not be forced to do something they don’t believe in”. Hell, I don’t believe in paying interest on loans; since the company that holds my mortgage is American, does that mean I drop that and just pay the principal? That would be pretty freaking sweet because it would save me nice chunk of change.

In his own classically clueless way, Pat says that being LGBT+ “used to be considered perversion, it used to be considered an abomination”. And, he’s right; Leviticus 18:22 does say that. But, it is interesting to hear this statement coming from man wearing clothes made of different fabrics, with a nice haircut and fresh shave, and who quite possibly had shrimp or barbecue for lunch. I guess those “abominations” don’t count. Funny how that works, huh?

I find it…, thought-provoking? No, what about “fascinating”? Not that either. Hmm, maybe “intriguing” is the word I’m looking for. No, that’s not it either. Let me think for a minute. Hey, I’ve got it: “fucking ridiculous”.  As in, I find it fucking ridiculous that Pat Robertson can go on television and say, with impunity, that expecting people to what they were hired (or elected) to do is “absolute tyranny” and that you’re standing up “for freedom” by insisting you be allowed to continue discriminating against people who are LGBT. Imagine if Christian leaders had said this kind of stuff about interracial marriage? Oh wait, they did.

I keep hearing people carry on about how holding someone to the agreement they made when they took a job is “tyranny” or “persecution” or any number of other inflammatory terms. And, they would be right…, if the employees in question were being in those jobs against their will. But, they’re not. Every person crying “Persecution!” in these cases are free to leave and find a job that won’t infringe on their personal beliefs. Sounds like some folks need to learn what “persecution” actually means.

Look, you can believe whatever you want to believe; in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, that an evil, alien space lord dumped billions of his people in a volcano and blew it up or that the Bible says “gays” are an abomination. But, what you can’t do is use that belief to deny people their inalienable rights. Especially when you want to do that while collecting a government paycheck. If you ask me, that’s an abomination.